What are the key conditions associated with lower limb amputations in a major Australian teaching hospital?
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Background: Lower extremity amputation results in significant global morbidity and mortality. Australia appears to have a paucity of studies investigating lower extremity amputation. The primary aim of this retrospective study was to investigate key conditions associated with lower extremity amputations in an Australian population. Secondary objectives were to determine the influence of age and sex on lower extremity amputations, and the reliability of hospital coded amputations. Methods: Lower extremity amputation cases performed at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (Brisbane, Australia) between July 2006 and June 2007 were identified through the relevant hospital discharge dataset (n = 197). All eligible clinical records were interrogated for age, sex, key condition associated with amputation, amputation site, first ever amputation status and the accuracy of the original hospital coding. Exclusion criteria included records unavailable for audit and cases where the key condition was unable to be determined. Chi-squared, t-tests, ANOVA and post hoc tests were used to determine differences between groups. Kappa statistics were used to measure reliability between coded and audited amputations. A minimum significance level of p < 0.05 was used throughout. Results: One hundred and eighty-six cases were eligible and audited. Overall 69% were male, 56% were first amputations, 54% were major amputations, and mean age was 62 ᠱ6 years. Key conditions associated included type 2 diabetes (53%), peripheral arterial disease (non-diabetes) (18%), trauma (8%), type 1 diabetes (7%) and malignant tumours (5%). Differences in ages at amputation were associated with trauma 36 ᠱ0 years, type 1 diabetes 52 ᠱ2 years and type 2 diabetes 67 ᠱ0 years (p < 0.01). Reliability of original hospital coding was high with Kappa values over 0.8 for all variables. Conclusions: This study, the first in over 20 years to report on all levels of lower extremity amputations in Australia, found that people undergoing amputation are more likely to be older, male and have diabetes. It is recommended that large prospective studies are implemented and national lower extremity amputation rates are established to address the large preventable burden of lower extremity amputation in Australia.
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research
© 2012 Lazzarini et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified